Captivations is a monthly feature with links, stories, and news that captivated me.
How did your first month of 2020 go? Are you still feeling the energy of the New Year? How are your goals? Are you already tired? I’m a little bit of all of it. I’m a little overwhelmed because I tend to put too much on my to-do list, but it’s because I’m excited about it all. I wish I had more hours in a day!
Why Zero Waste?
Where does your trash go? It goes in a trash can that goes to a trash truck that goes to a landfill. There it sits until it decomposes, which could take hundreds of years. That’s why I’m an advocate of zero waste. That means less packaging or more sustainable packaging. The push for zero waste is encouraged by reports that recycling and compostable products are not working. This article is eye-opening and here are some highlights from it:
- 79% of the world’s plastic is not recycled
- Compostable/biodegradable items must be processed in special facilities and those facilities are finding issues because what is brought to them is contaminated by items that are not compostable. Compostable corn-made products are made to look like plastic and a lot of times, consumers get confused about which bin to throw an item into.
- This sentence advocates for zero waste well: “Taking something and putting it in the landfill feels bad, but most of the damage has already been done by the time you buy it.” Don’t buy the waste in the first place!
As inspiration, watch this video about how one person saved up four years of trash and it easily fits into a 16oz mason jar. Really! Lauren also gives lots of tips on how to do it on her website Trash is for Tossers and she also sells zero waste items through Package Free Shop. Becoming zero waste has a lot to do with what you consume in the first place and what you can recycle or re-sell.
These are some zero waste and sustainable practices I’m trying this year:
- Starting a CSA subscription
- Growing a garden! I’m hoping for some herbs and vegetables
- Continuing composting food scraps
- Switching to non-plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Switching to a different toilet paper. Maybe Reel or Who Gives a Crap?
- Not buying any new clothes in 2020! Second-hand/thrift is ok if needed and exceptions might be made for underwear.
- Decreasing Amazon purchases, especially when I can pick them up in a store (this should save on packaging and the carbon footprint)
- Researching paper towels vs reusable towels and getting rid of paper towels if the results show it is more sustainable
- Continuing to find reusable products. We already use glass containers for leftovers and wool dryer balls.
- Continuing to find more frequently used products without packaging, i.e. dish soap and shampoo
- Researching what I can recycle through Terracycle
Year of Nothing New
My inspiration for not buying any new clothes in 2020 was inspired by this post from The Fernweh Studio. They’re a company that plans thoughtful, slow trips in locations around the world. In addition to clothes, I see myself applying this thought to new things in general. Do I really need a new appliance that I will use maybe once a year? Do I really need it, are there ways around it, and can I use something else? It reminds me of this post about mindful owning and buying.
Happiness and Exercise
Big things can happen with regular exercise. Read this NPR article to get the lowdown.
Do you know the story about the basketball cop? A cop was called because there was a lot of noise from kids playing basketball outside (yes, really, like it was a crime). When the cop arrived, he found the kids playing basketball and started playing with them. A video of the interaction went viral and he came back another time with SHAQ. Since then, Officer Bobby White created a non-profit that connects police officers and their communities, typically through sports. The organization is doing some really cool things. Read more about it here.
Turn It Around
Whenever we get angry or envious at something or someone, sometimes, it’s a reflection of what we wish we had in our lives. Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere shares about a reoccurring fight with her husband because of something he wasn’t doing. There are so many lessons in this story!
Kobe Bryant’s Legacy
The world lost a well-known hero this month. He was an inspiration for many and incredibly talented. He also has a complicated legacy, as this article explains. I also resonated with this article. We don’t have to say he’s great or the worst, it’s not black and white. (Or you can and that’s your opinion.) But I think it’s important to admit the complications and share the full truth.
Life is Short
Deaths, especially if the person is young, has a way of reminding us to stop and examine our own lives. We remember we have limited time and we’re not promised tomorrow. We think about our legacies and how we want to live our lives. (Can we tie in zero waste here too?) Sometimes it is hard to think about. I saw this quote being shared and it’s a good way to think about appreciating the moments.
Take 15-30 minutes to stop and focus on this article. Deep work is called different things and you may recognize some of the techniques described. Basically, it’s un-interrupted, super-focused time devoted to what you’re doing. It helps you be very productive.
What is your dog thinking?
I’m full on dog mom over here. With my intentions of saving money and buying less, I’m doing better at buying fewer toys for Kaira, but she takes up a lot of time and thought every day! I thought this article explaining what your dog is thinking and if dogs dream or smile was interesting.
Restaurant Running Clubs
I love this article. I love that people are breaking from the norms and finding what works for them. The partying (heavy drinking) routine is prevalent in the restaurant industry but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if it is continuously affecting a person’s safety and mental health. Instead, restaurants are starting running clubs, including one in Austin.
Making Decisions Faster
This is one of my goals this year! I can be very indecisive because I consider too many options (analysis paralysis) and how others will feel about each option. This post explains it well and gives three tips to being more decisive.
What’s got you captivated lately?